Alexander Volkanovski talks being “vulnerable” after Islam Makhachev loss, but says “he’s not ashamed at all”
The last time that UFC fans saw reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in action, they were probably left disappointed by the Australian’s performance.
‘Alexander the Great’ faced off with Islam Makhachev for the latter’s lightweight title at UFC 294 in October and suffered the first TKO loss of his octagon career, succumbing to a head kick in the first round.
The loss came with a caveat of sorts. Alexander Volkanovski took the fight on very late notice to replace the injured Charles Oliveira, meaning he had little time to prepare for the Dagestani.
‘Alexander the Great’ has been relatively quiet in the weeks since his loss, although it has been announced that he’ll defend his 145lbs crown against top contender Ilia Topuria in February.
In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour podcast, though, Volkanovski opened up a little more about his loss to Makhachev, suggesting he’s now over it. He had the following to say:
“Again, I am sort of glad people got to see me in that vulnerable state because everyone gets uneasy some time in their life...the amount of fighters that have reached out, successful people in other disciplines and careers...it’s incredible. Everyone gets uneasy; it’s how you bounce back.
“The beauty is, people got to see me like that...again, usually there’s not a camera in your face at your most vulnerable; there was for me, but all good. I’m glad people seen that, I’m not ashamed at all...I just want everyone to know I’m all good. Now everyone gets to see the bounce-back.”
Watch Volkanovski discuss this below.
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topuria: Could Sean O’Malley face the winner?
February 2024 will see Alexander Volkanovski defend his featherweight title against top contender Ilia Topuria in the headliner of UFC 297.
Volkanovski will likely come into the bout as the betting favorite, even if Topuria has already shown his confidence by suggesting he’d like to fight Max Holloway in his first title defense.
However, could reigning bantamweight titleholder Sean O’Malley be next for the winner? It’s a topic that was recently discussed when ‘Sugar’ appeared on The MMA Hour.
Interestingly, O’Malley stated that while he’d be intrigued by a clash with Topuria, he’d actually prefer to avoid Volkanovski, saying he “didn’t like” the idea of a fight with the Australian.
Watch Sean O’Malley discuss this below.